Four for the CTBT: Gorbachev, Frattini, Shultz and Nunn

New Brochure on On-Site Inspections

Did Arcania really conduct a nuclear test? Learn about the findings of the on-site inspection team in our new brochure about the biggest ever inspection exercise. The Integrated Field Exercise 2008 took place at the former Soviet nuclear test site of Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan, in September 2008. The exercise demonstrated the effectiveness of on-site inspections and the progress made in preparing for the CTBT’s entry into force.

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Shultz Calls on Republicans to Support CTBT Ratification

"[My] fellow U.S. Republicans may have been right to vote down the nuclear test-ban treaty a decade ago, but they'd be wrong to scuttle it again as President Barack Obama pushes for Senate ratification." George Shultz, U.S. Secretary of State in the Reagan administration, stressed his support for the CTBT at a conference on nuclear disarmament titled 'Overcoming Nuclear Dangers' on 17 April in Rome: "A new generation of nuclear detonation sensors should convince Senate Republicans to endorse the CTBT." He added: "These are new pieces of information that are very important and that should be made available to the Senate."

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Gorbachev: "The possibility that the U.S. could ratify the nuclear test-ban treaty looks realistic."

Michael Gorbachev, former president of the Soviet Union, comments on the prospects of nuclear disarmament between Russia and the U.S in an interview with Interfax. With regard to the recent joint statement by the presidents of both countries, Gorbachev sees "signs indicating that the leading nuclear powers understand that the current situation is intolerable," and that both countries envision "a number of steps to decrease the nuclear danger, including the U.S. ratification of the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty."

Read the full interview here

Photo by Andy Mettler

A Strategy for Achieving Senate Approval of the CTBT

"[T]he key will likely not be facts or persuasive arguments, but rather a painstakingly and carefully negotiated deal." John Isaacs, Director of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, outlines a strategy for achieving the CTBT's ratification by the U.S. Senate. He points out that Vice President Joseph Biden, recently designated to lead the administration's campaign to win Senate approval of the CTBT, already played a key role in the ratificaton of the Chemical Weapons Convention in the 1990s.

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Taking the Bang Out of Nuclear Weapons

"Banning the bang" will stop nuclear weapon development and allow nuclear weapon's States to reduce their reliance on nuclear arsenals. Daryl Kimball, Executive Director of the Arms Control Association, provides an analysis of the recent nuclear disarmament statements by the U.S. und Russian presidents. Kimball sees U.S. ratification of the CTBT as an essential step that would strengthen international security.

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The Future of the CTBT

A panel discussion of the 2009 Carnegie International Nonproliferation Conference was devoted to “The Future of the CTBT”. The panel was chaired by Daryl Kimball of the Arms Control Association (left). Panelists were (2nd from left to right) Dr. Sidney Drell of Stanford University, CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth, and Ambassador James Goodby of the Hoover Institution. The transcript of the discussion, audio recordings as well as the speakers' presentations have been now made available online by the Carnegie Endowment (see also CTBTO highlight of 8 April 2009).

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U.S. to Signal "Positive Trajectory" at NPT Preparatory Conference

The upcoming preparatory committee meeting for the 2010 review conference of the Treaty for the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is widely regarded as a first test of the seriousness of the Obama administration's declared intent of strengthening the non-proliferation regime. The article points out that ratification of the CTBT was one of 13 'practical steps' endorsed by the 2000 NPT Review Conference, and that little progress has been made so far in realizing these steps.

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Proliferation Experts Say Technology in Place to Verify Nuclear Test Ban Compliance

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has organized a briefing on the progress in the CTBT's verification regime. According to verification expert Ola Dahlman, the global alarm system would, once fully implemented "be able to detect as little as a 0.1 kiloton explosion in most parts of the world, and a 0.01 kiloton explosion in many critical regions."

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Massive global ozone loss predicted following regional nuclear conflict

An article in the scientific publication of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) analyzes the consequences of the regional nuclear war on the global environment. The authors predict a massive decrease in ozone in the stratosphere: "The resulting increases in UV radiation could impact the biota significantly, including serious consequences for human health."

Read the full study here 

Video: Verifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

Dr. Paul Richards from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, reviews the CTBTO's most important technologies for monitoring nuclear explosions. Richards also discusses unique events in the history of the verification system.  This presentation was given at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS).

Watch the presentation here or click the image (You-Tube)